Seventy years ago, the Western world was focused on recovering after World War II. It didn’t pay much attention to the Korean War which was considered to be a “regional conflict.” Yet, if it wasn’t for 5.7 million young Americans that answered the call of duty, Korea may not enjoy the freedom of democracy, and surely wouldn’t be nearly as prosperous and strong it is today.
Millions of men and women selflessly went across the globe to ensure the freedom of many more millions of Koreans. Their country stands upon the ashes of this all-too-often forgotten war. Today, the world has forgotten about these heroes. Remembering this “Forgotten War” is more than just a history lesson. It’s a test for humanity. And one we are failing, big time.
This year, there will be no events or ceremonies to celebrate and honor the approximately 1.2 million Korean War veterans who are now in the final years of their lives. More than 500 of these veterans die every day in the United States. Now, not only have they been forgotten, but tens of thousands of these veterans are also separated from their families, as they are locked down in care centers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not the ending they deserved.
If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it’s that we must value true heroes. Yet, these heroes are dying alone, without knowing how much their bravery and selflessness have been appreciated. But a nationwide initiative, produced as a partnership between the Korean and United States governments, is racing against the clock to change this! The initiative called The Korea Reborn commemorative is consists of Korea Reborn, a 176-page hardcover book, and The Remembered War, a feature-length documentary. Before the pandemic, these materials were distributed to more than 300,000 Korean War veterans in all 50 states. Just imagine the difference they made!
We cannot let COVID-19 stop us from honoring, thanking, and celebrating these heroes! The race is on to distribute these commemoratives to nursing homes, assisted-living centers, VA homes, and other long-term care facilities. These veterans didn’t let anything stop them from saving the freedom of others, even if it meant going across the world to an entirely unknown continent to save an entirely unfamiliar culture. Pandemic or no pandemic, we can make sure they are properly thanked for their heroic efforts!